Exercising can be a lonely activity: you usually run laps around the block by yourself and pump iron alone in one corner of the gym. But you know, it doesn't have to be that way. Working out can actually be fun, fulfilling, and much more productive than merely going at it solo. All you need to do is find people who'd do it with you. Here's what you've been missing with group exercise:
Advantage #1: It's more fun
Admit it: time seems to crawl when you're working out by yourself. You keep looking at your watch, hoping that the half hour has already passed, only to realise that it's just been a couple of minutes. But you know what? This won't happen if you exercise with a group because you'll have more fun. Workouts won't be as tedious since you'll be busy chatting with your pals as you sweat your way through the session.
Advantage #2: It motivates you to work harder
Group exercise has this way of pushing you to train harder. How? Think about it: you're in a group where everyone can see what the others are doing. You'll be inspired to go further to show off or at the very least, not embarrass yourself by keeping pace with the others. Being part of a group exercise also keeps you accountable and increases the likelihood of you continuing with the program. Furthermore, your instructor and friends would encourage you to keep going.
Advantage #3: You'll burn more calories
Since you work harder and longer because of peer pressure, you'll end up burning more calories. According to research, overweight people exercising with a partner lose more than 5 per cent of their weight if their workout companions also lose 5 per cent. In this case, the motivation of not embarrassing yourself does wonders to your health.
Advantage #4: You'll be happier and healthier
Exercising regularly will help you better control your weight (you'll burn more calories), sleep better, prevent illnesses, boost your energy, and improve your sex life, all of which would make you happier and healthier. What's more, your body releases these chemicals called endorphins when you exercise and socialise. Endorphins two important things: it blocks pain like an analgesic and causes a feeling of euphoria. But unlike pain medicines, endorphins are not addicting.
Advantage #5: It's a great way to make new friends
Group exercises are a great way to meet new people and make friends. You'd meet a variety of individuals; some would probably have the same interests, while others may not, but one thing is sure: you share a common goal with them, and that's to get and stay healthy. This commonality (and perhaps a wee bit of competition) would keep you coming back for more. So basically, you develop a support system with group exercise.
Advantage #6: It's safer
One thing that some people may take for granted in exercising is safety. With exercise groups, however, it's safer because you have exercise instructors, who would pay attention to safety, give details on the exercises that everyone would be doing, and watch over the group while they exercise--provided that the instructors are certified by a reputable accreditation agency. If you do have a certified instructor, make sure you make the most of their expertise and ask questions.